The main towns (and tourist hubs) in the Bay of Islands are Paihia, Russell, and Kerikeri. Waitangi, just across the bridge from Paihia, is an important historic site as is Russell, across the bay from Paihia. Paihia and Russell are linked by a regular passenger ferry service. Opua is a tiny settlement just south of Paihia, largely used by visitors for the car ferry terminal.


The Bay of Islands has no public bus service. Intercity buses provide transport between major towns such as Kerikeri and Paihia and from other parts of Northland and all points south.


Paihia Taxis & Tours and Paihia Cabs & Shuttles provide only airport transfer services and small group touring in mini-buses. Kerikeri Taxis provides a more standard service (but still in a mini-bus) as well as airport and touring. All these services should be booked well in advance.


Fullers InterCity Ferries operate four passenger ferries throughout the day from the Paihia wharf to the township of Russell, from 7am to 5:30pm (later during summer months). Tickets can be bought on board. The trip takes about 15 minutes. A vehicular ferry runs between Opua (just south of Paihia) and Russell every 10 minutes from 6:30am to 10pm daily. Bookings are not required, and tickets can only be purchased in cash (pay on board).

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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.